• High Ability Identification

    Elementary School

    Consideration for Elementary School ALPS: 3rd grade testing

    Early in each academic year, the In View cognitive abilities assessment is administered to all third grade students in the MCCSC. Using the results of this test, qualifying students will take the NWEA math and/or reading achievement assessments. Based on In View and NWEA assessment scores, students scoring in the 9th stanine, 96-99% on both verbal and nonverbal subtests, will be mailed an application packet inviting them to apply for the elementary ALPS program. The qualifying scores may be on the In View or NWEA or a combination of both. If your student is not formally identified as general intellectual high ability and not sent an elementary ALPS application, they may also apply for placement in the ALPS program. Families interested in this opportunity should speak with their child’s teachers or principal and may also contact the Office of High Ability Education. A specific identification/application timeline will be provided each school year.

    Identification for Elementary School ALPS

    A student's potential to benefit from participation in the ALPS program is assessed through a variety of measures which are collected in individual application portfolios. Portfolios are stored by the Office of High Ability Education for each student applicant. In addition to standardized test scores, the Coordinator of High Ability Education solicits the following to be included in the student’s portfolio:

    Applicant provides:

    • A completed Parent Referral Form
    • One example of the student’s written work that he or she selects

    School provides:

    • Student writing sample from in-class writing prompt
    • Teacher Referral Form from the student’s third grade teacher(s)
    • Copies of report cards for first semester of third grade
    • NWEA Student Report

    Selection of Elementary School ALPS Students

    Members of the Elementary Identification Committee review each student portfolio to identify students who are most likely to benefit from participation in the ALPS program in elementary school. Participation in the elementary ALPS program requires that a student be formally identified as general intellectual high ability by the identification committee. Members of the identification committee are experienced and licensed in gifted/talented education. Historically, students placed in the elementary ALPS self-contained classes have achievement and cognitive verbal and nonverbal test scores in the 9th stanine, 96-99 percentiles.

    In addition to the self-contained ALPS classes in grades 4-6, individual elementary schools offer program options for identified high ability students. These options may include grade level high ability cluster groups, subject grade skipping, flexible ability grouping for math and language arts, and inquiry based instruction.

    A timeline for the elementary high ability identification process is provided in the fall of each school year and will include parent meeting dates, the deadline for submission of application materials, and deadline for submitting appeals of placement recommendations. Notification of placement decisions will be sent to parents and schools.  You may send the application materials electronically (kwilliam@mccsc.edu), by fax (812 330-7813), or drop them off/mail them to the MCCSC Administration Building located at 315 E. North Drive, Bloomington, IN 47401.

    Alternative Admission to Elementary School ALPS

    Elementary school students who are new to the MCCSC or those who did not apply, did not qualify, or opted not to accept an invitation to the ALPS program at the end of third grade can submit a portfolio for review by the Identification Committee during their fourth and fifth grade years. Alternative admission applications are considered by the Identification Committee at the end of the current school year. Placement is offered based on the recommendations of the Identification Committee.

     

    Middle School

    Identification for Middle School ALPS or High Ability Language Arts Classes

    Early in each academic year, the In View cognitive abilities assessment is administered to all sixth grade students in the MCCSC. Using the results of this test, qualifying students will take the NWEA math and/or reading achievement assessments. Based on In View and NWEA assessment scores, students scoring in the 9th stanine, 96-99%, on verbal/reading and nonverbal/math subtests will be sent a letter offering placement in the middle school ALPS program.  Students only scoring in the 9th stanine, 96-99%, on verbal/reading subtests will be offered middle school high ability instruction in English/Language Arts. The qualifying score may be on the In View or NWEA or a combination of both. A specific identification/application timeline will be provided each school year, including appeals for placement recommendations. No application materials are required for students recommended for high ability services based on the test scores mentioned above, unless placement recommendations are being appealed.

    The challenges of middle school high ability classes require both students and their families to make a commitment of time and energy. Students and families who elect to participate in high ability classes agree to work together to ensure that the student:

    • Participates for a full academic year in the assigned placement
    • Class work and assignments will be of high quality and submitted on time
    • Class participation will be active and appropriate and students will come prepared to class
    • A minimum grade of “B” will be maintained in each high ability class

    If your student is not formally identified as general intellectual high ability (ALPS program) or high ability language arts based on the assessments listed above, they may apply (appeal) for placement in high ability English language arts classes and/or the middle school ALPS program. Families interested in this opportunity should speak with their child’s teachers or principal or may also contact the Office of High Ability Education.

    Portfolios are stored by the Office of High Ability Education for each student applicant. In addition to standardized test scores, the Coordinator of High Ability Education solicits the following to be included in the student’s portfolio:

    Applicant Provides:

    • Completed Parent Referral Form
    • One example of the student’s writing that he or she selects

    School Provides:

    • A copy of the student’s writing prompt from the ILEARN test and ILEARN Student Report
    • Student NWEA Report
    • Teacher Referral Forms from the student’s sixth grade teacher(s)
    • Copies of report cards for first semester of grade six

    Members of the Middle School Identification Committee will review applying student portfolios to identify students who may benefit from participation in middle school high ability services, including advanced English/Language Arts instruction and the middle school ALPS program. Members of the identification committee are experienced and licensed in gifted/talented education. A timeline for the middle school high ability identification process will include the deadline for submission of application materials as well as appeals for placement recommendations. Notification of placement decisions will be sent to parents and schools. You may send the application materials electronically (kwilliam@mccsc.edu), by fax (812 330-7813), or drop them off/mail them to the MCCSC Administration Building located at 315 E. North Drive, Bloomington, IN 47401.

    Alternative Admission to Middle School ALPS

    Middle school students who are new to the MCCSC or those who did not apply, did not qualify, or opted not to accept an invitation to the ALPS program at the end of sixth grade can, at the recommendation of their counselors and teachers, submit a portfolio for review by the Identification Committee for their seventh and eighth grade years. Alternative admission applications are considered by the Identification Committee prior to the end of first semester of seventh or eighth grade or the end of seventh grade. Placement is offered based on the recommendations of the Identification Committee.

    Middle School Advanced Mathematics Classes

    The middle school math placement process is a separate identification process that will take place in May. All MCCSC middle schools offer algebra and geometry classes for identified high ability students. Advanced math placements are based on a student’s current math level and achievement. Students in the middle school algebra and geometry classes may elect to have the grades from these courses placed on their high school transcript and be included in the calculation of the high school grade-point average. Students will be given a high school credit option form to complete at the end of second semester of eighth grade.

    High School

    A student may self-nominate or a parent or teacher may nominate a student for high ability identification. For information about high ability identification, contact the guidance department or a building administrator. You may also contact the Office of High Ability Education at (812) 330-7700, x51029 or email kwilliam@mccsc.edu.